Born in the Bronx, I am the son of working-class Ecuadorian immigrant parents. My childhood was one of exertion and poverty, experiencing the tail-end of New York’s malaise. There was a nary a night that passed by when I did not hear the sirens of the police or fire department rushing by. The exploration of my creativity was my refuge from urban violence: making games up, telling stores and most importantly, learning to draw. My parents were often away; whenever I wasn’t delivering papers in Riverdale, I scribbled. The arts kept my hands and mind from being idle.
I was formally introduced to the arts in high school. I bought my first sketchbook and began sketching to impress someone who frequented the art cub; my passion soon grew. I no longer saw the arts as a mere hobby or something that trust fund kids did; I had a longing to make my presence felt. Combined with my love for history and exposure to the different ethnic communities in New York City, I became passionate for the arts though I felt the pressure of pursuing a financially stable career choice: I chose architecture but it turned out not to be what I wanted.
It dawned on me that I needed to be honest with myself: become a graphic designer. I started out small-time, creating album artwork and doing photo-shoots for aspiring musical artists, then branched out to designing visual identities for small businesses. My experience freelancing for friends and associates, combined with doing several internships and studying at City Tech, made me a much visually aware individual. I also took time learning web design and advertising.
Armed now with my baccalaureate in Communication Design, I am ready to change the world. I’ve always empathized and felt with the pain and struggle of others and saw my choice of becoming a graphic designer as a means to tell stories and spread humanitarian messages to a global audience.
The creatives who continue to inspire me are: Hayao Miyazaki, Marjane Satrapi, Massimo Vignelli and Paul Rand.